|The rainbow after the storm. Erie, IL Photo by T. Orman|
"I've learned that being a teenager is as hard on your parents as it is on you." -Age 13
"I've learned that you should be careful when sitting down in a chair that has rollers." -Age 72
"I've learned as a sixth grade teacher that when I send more than two boys to the restroom at a time, the principal usually ends up bringing them back." -Age 34
"I've learned that I shouldn't inhale through my nose when I'm eating a powdered doughnut." -Age 51
"I've learned that you don't really know a person until you've made them mad." -Age 22
"I've learned that the more you're in a hurry, the longer it takes to get your locker open." -Age 13
"I've learned that when my older sister says she'll be out of the bathroom in five minutes, I should just sit down and
start reading War and Peace." -Age 14
"I've learned that I shouldn't change the channel when my dad's watching the Dallas Cowboys." -Age 11
"I've learned that arguing with a teenager is like mud wrestling a pig; you both get dirty and the pig loves it." -Age 48
Activity: Have your students write their life lessons & keep them compiled in a three-ring binder. Every so often (2-3 times throughout the year) take it out and read some to your current students. Then have them contribute. You can use regular paper, index cards, or some pre-made templates in my free download.
It is amazing what students will come up with (especially when they find out it is anonymous) and they truly do enjoy the activity.
Relate it to the novel: One component I'm adding this year is for them to write an entry for one of the characters from the novel we are reading. In The Hunger Games, what would Katniss say she's learned? Peeta? Haymitch? Ask your students to jot down a couple for each. It makes them think critically about the characters, and creatively by coming up with unique ideas.
Here are some examples:
Katniss: "I've learned that when your sister's name is called for the reaping and you volunteer for her, the boy who is called is the last person you would ever want to kill." -Age 16
"I've learned that if the Gamemakers have been served a roast pig during your private session, shooting an arrow at them is the only way to get their attention." -Age 16
Peeta: "I've learned that you can give a girl bread, tell the whole country you love her, and take a knife in the leg for her, but she will still not believe your feelings are true." -Age 16
Haymitch: "I've learned that being a mentor has really cut into my drinking time!" -Age 40-something
Share some of your own examples in the comment section below.